Teen rape suspect released from jail

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 19-year-old Helena man who is facing multiple rape charges from the Helena and Alabaster police departments has been released from the Shelby County Jail after his bond was lowered in late September through an agreement between the defense attorney and prosecutors.

Woods

Woods

Sam Woods III, who lists an address on Old Cahaba Trace in Helena, was released from jail on Sept. 21 after posting bonds totaling $30,000. During a hearing earlier the same day, District Court Judge Daniel Crowson reduced Woods’ bond from a total of $60,000 to a total of $30,000 per an agreement with prosecutors and the defense, according to court documents.

Woods had been incarcerated in the county jail since he was arrested on June 28 on two second-degree rape charges brought against him by the Alabaster Police Department.

When he was arrested on June 28, it marked the third time he had been arrested on rape charges in a two-week period. The Alabaster Police Department previously brought a second-degree rape charge against Woods on June 17, and the Helena Police Department brought a second-degree rape charge against him on June 25.

After Woods was arrested on June 17, he was released from the Shelby County Jail the following day after posting a $30,000 bond. He was rearrested on June 25, and was released from jail on June 28 after posting a $30,000 bond before being rearrested on the two most recent rape charge later the same day.

In all four cases, Woods allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a female victim who was between the age of 12 and 16 while Woods was “16 years or older and at least two years older” than the victim, according to his arrest warrants.

He has been accused of engaging in these acts on June 6, 2015, September 2015, April 17 and April 20.

Second-degree rape is a Class B felony, and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Woods is now set to appear in Shelby County District Court for a hearing on Oct. 26 at 8:30 a.m.